This whole year so far has been one of such deep, deep searching and clarifying of intention and person and soul. Friends have been asking me what I have been doing lately, and as of last week (due to sickness and much work at Great Harvest Bakery), I have been telling people I have 3 priorities:
- Kat (along with baby Brendan) and the home
- Work (as much as I would rather this be of lesser importance…)
- Homework (I am after all paying for my further education and it is deeply important to my gifts to the community)
Of course wrapped into all of this is my deep dedication to listening, prayer, and self-work.
Setting priorities in this way has always been a major hurtle for more me. Much of the importance of the homework I have been dedicating myself to has been in working with the Enneagram (one of our western civilization’s oldest tools for spiritual growth). It has been one of the most enlightening (and “gut wrenching”) things I have ever been exposed to. After a bit of confusion and brutal honesty, I realized that 9 is my central number… and that I have been working on 9 issues probably my whole life. Riso and Hudson describe 9 as the following on their website …
The easy-going, self-effacing type. Nines are accepting, trusting, and stable. They are usually grounded, supportive, and often creative, but can also be too willing to go along with others to keep the peace. They want everything to go smoothly and be without conflict, but they can also tend to be complacent and emotionally distant, simplifying problems and ignoring anything upsetting. They typically have problems with inertia and stubbornness. At their Best: indomitable and all-embracing, they are able to bring people together and heal conflicts.
My sister, Brittany, reflected recently on being a 4.
I have been reading Richard Rohr‘s book, The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective, and finding it so powerfully informing. In reflecting on the root sin|set-back|hurdle of the 9, which is laziness (or goal-lessness), I realize some humbling truths. A 9 numbs himself under stress, in an effort to maintain balance, harmony, peace. The turnaround is having goals and practicing taking the first step.
Personally, I will actually stay busy|active|engaged with small tasks (email, extra time reading, coffee shop, movies, drinking a beer, etc) SO THAT I can avoid doing other important tasks. And its not even that I don’t want to do these other tasks… I just don’t want to do them in that instant. I don’t want to take the first step. As Rohr writes and says, “I’ve been doing everything for all the wrong reasons my whole life.”
There are of course many positives to being a 9… I don’t have to get into them now… time to take the first step and eat my lunch (rather than blogging) so I can get to my 1:00 meeting on time.